Man of the Year nominees

Published 8:40 pm Friday, January 22, 2010

The following biographies detail the work of the three men nominated for 2009 Decatur County Man of the Year.

The award is sponsored by the Bainbridge Kiwanis Club and will be presented at the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet, which will be Thursday at the Kirbo Regional Center on the campus of Bainbridge College, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Bill Bowers

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Bill Bowers is an active member of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society and volunteers with several of its annual fund-raisers. He is the president of the Habitat for Humanity and coordinates much of the group’s work in building new houses for less fortunate members of the community.

Bowers delivers Meals on Wheels to senior citizens every week. He sets up and takes down art exhibits at the Firehouse Center and Gallery and helps a group of card-playing senior citizens who play at the Senior Center each week.

Bowers, a retired civil engineer with the State of California, moved to Bainbridge in 2004 with his wife, Sandy, to help with caring for an elderly relative.

Bowers enjoys golfing, spending time with friends and family, working around his home, going to church and has a heart for animals.

David “Buck” Sarrette Jr.

David “Buck” Sarrette Jr. is a major in the U.S. Army, currently stationed at Fort Rucker, Ala.

Maj. Sarrette is responsible for the training of all new Army aviation pilots who get their flight training at Fort Rucker. An experienced Chinook helicopter pilot, Sarrette was sent to Iraq in 2003, where he served combat duty in Mosul, a mountainous area. He transported troops into battle and evacuated the wounded. He received a battlefield promotion to the rank of captain prior to returning home from his first deployment.

During his second combat deployment to Iraq, Sarrette, in addition to his pilot duties, commanded a 54-man company as part of the 1st Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade. He was stationed in Tikrit, Iraq, and for his efforts there, was awarded the U.S. Army’s Company Commander of the Year Award for 2008 upon his return to Fort Rucker, where he is now on a three-year assignment.

Sarrette is a 1996 honor graduate of Bainbridge High School, where he participated in Col. Gary Breedlove’s Air Force Junior ROTC program.

Upon graduating from BHS, U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop nominated Sarrette for an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, where he graduated with honors in 2000.

Roger Smith

Roger Smith is a lifetime resident of Decatur County and an active community volunteer. He has been active with Boy Scouts of America for more than eight years and is currently the scoutmaster of Troop 503. He has helped four scouts obtain their Eagle Scout rank and encourages his scouts to give back to their community.

Under his leadership, the scouts have assisted with several community events. Recently, he began encouraging the scouts to replace the American flags on the veterans’ graves in honor of Veteran’s Day at the Oak City Cemetery.

Smith has been involved with the Bainbridge High School Marching Band for more than six years and currently serves as president of the BHS Band Boosters. He drives the band’s uniform truck whenever the band travels. He also prepares the concession stands for the band boosters’ use on Friday nights when the BHS football team has a home game.

Smith is an active member of First Baptist Church, where he serves as an usher, relief bus driver and actively participates in the youth activities.

He is married to Tana Matthews Smith and they have two children.